In this day and age, nearly everyone seems to have some type of presence online. We all know people who seem to have perfect lives because of their positive online presence. We also know people who post strictly negative things, and then there are those who never post anything at all. Wherever you currently fall on the online presence-spectrum, here are a few tips to help you create or maintain a positive online presence.
1. Think before you post negative or inappropriate things. I’m sure I’m not the first person to give you this advice, but you should never use online websites as your diary, especially if your diary is negative, inappropriate or hurtful to others. For many people, it is painfully tempting to post not-so-flattering personal information online. Whether it’s constant complaining about your job or wild party photos, negative posts have the power to haunt you in the future, and they can severely hinder your efforts to create a positive online presence. How can you tell if one of your posts is negative or inappropriate? Try using a little forward-thinking. Put yourself in the shoes of an employer for your dream job and ask yourself, “Would this post raise any red flags?” Putting this technique into practice will give you a good idea of what kinds of things you should share with others and what kinds of things should be kept private.
2. Proofread everything you post online. We all have at least a basic knowledge of grammar, so why not use it? If you have your own website or a LinkedIn or HonorSociety.org profile, you should take extra care to make sure it is perfectly polished, but even Facebook and Twitter posts should showcase good grammar. Just imagine what people might think about you if you use consistently bad grammar online. They will either think you are careless and inattentive to detail, or they will assume you are unintelligent. Both of these views will badly affect your ability to keep your online presence positive.
3. Keep your online profiles up-to-date. Picture this scenario for a moment. For whatever reason, you haven’t updated any of your online profiles in five years. A recruiter for a big-name company views your profiles but concludes that you do not have the qualifications needed for the job. In reality, you have gained plenty of experience related to the job within the past few years, but potential employers have no way of knowing about it since your profiles display outdated information. In short, not updating your online information can cost you once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Making time every few months to add or remove certain things from your online profiles not only prevents misleading information from being circulated but also allows potential employers to learn about the person you are today.
4. Highlight your accomplishments and experience. This tip ties in to my first point. Instead of highlighting the negative things that might be happening in your life, why not highlight the positives and show the world all of the great things you have done? If you won an award in your school or community, even if it was a small award, make sure it is highlighted in a visible place on all of your profiles. If you have scored an amazing job opportunity or internship, post about it on social media. Some might call this technique bragging, but really it is just making sure that people are kept in the loop about the positive things going on in your life. Websites such as HonorSociety.org and LinkedIn even have special places for you to enter in your accomplishments and experience, and making sure these blanks are filled is better than leaving them empty.
5. Take advantages of networking opportunities. Social media provides excellent opportunities for you to network with people from all over the world. If you get the chance to meet a professional in your desired career field, search for them on Twitter or LinkedIn and connect with them. Building this web of contacts is a great way to get your name out there and promote your personal brand. Many professional organizations also have social media pages that members can like or join. This will allow you to potentially network with organization members, which could lead to connections with some of their contacts, and so on.
By implementing these tips, you will be well on your way to creating and maintaining a positive online presence. If you would like to build your online presence but aren’t sure where to begin, become a member of HonorSociety.org! Members are provided with their own personal profiles, where you can highlight your experience, accomplishments and other positive information. To apply for membership, visit https://www.honorsociety.org/.